Skullgirls’ First Male Character Is An Ex-Cop With A Tragic Past

By Ishaan . March 1, 2013 . 1:30pm

Skullgirls’ IndieGoGo fundraider is trekking on, now at over $264,000 in contributions. To keep their fans informed, developer, Lab Zero Games, have taken the opportunity to provide further updates regarding development. First up, is an update on Big Band, the next character to be added to the game, provided contributions reach the $375,000 mark.


Here’s Big Band’s official back-story, as provided by Lab Zero:


Ben Birdland has seen a lot in his time, including the worst of the Grand War. But nothing was worse than what he saw as a beat cop in New Meridian. When he ran afoul of his crooked unit he was given a violent early retirement, and his broken body was left to spend the rest of its days in an iron lung.


That would have been the end of Ben’s story if it hadn’t drawn the ears of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. With little left to lose, he agreed to be rebuilt with their experimental procedures. Melded with the machinery that allows him to breathe and a powerful an array of pneumatic weaponry, he was reborn as “Big Band.”


Now a senior member of Lab 8, he’s become a father figure of sort to the younger ASG soldiers. A firm believer in their cause, he has stayed with the project through its controversies and still sees his place on the front lines against the Skullgirl. His technology may be dated, but he more than makes up for it with experience and fortissimo.


Additionally, here’s a few more character reveals for a potential third new character for the game. As previously reported, if contributions reach $600,000, Lab Zero will add a third new character to the game, based on fan votes. A few of these have already been revealed, and you can check them out here and here. The latest ones can be viewed below:


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  • James Reilly

    Cool, had not seen a “Robo-Cop” esque character in awhile. Plus he has that jazz thing going for him while playing like Q

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    I just want me some Feng

    • Draparde

      Yes! me too!

    • Tee Niitris

      Feng reminds me of Guilty Gear’s Jam, who is one my fav’s <3

      • Göran Isacson

        I wonder if that’s why I’m kind of on the fence with her… it’s like, it’s not a bad design, just one that we’ve seen a dozen times before, you know?

    • Demeanor

      Chinese martial arts FTW! I like using Litchi in BB, and Jam in GG (Jam’s voice is awesome ^ ^)

  • You’re not a fictitious cop *unless* you have a tragic past. Luv it

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    Dat Weather Report reference

  • Mnstrzero00

    Why do people want guys in the game. It seems like that would take the game out of its theme.

    • Kaihedgie

      Apparently the original plan was to put males in the game, or at least the intention was to flip the average gender ratio in fighting games

      But if that was the case, why weren’t there any males available from the outset?

      • Göran Isacson

        Most likely due to lack of funds, and so they decided to just go with the designs they really liked/were necessary for the story, is my guess.

        • Kaihedgie

          Squiggly looked more necessary and yet she wasn’t in.

          • doubleO7

            They actually designed ALOT of characters with the intention of spreading them out across a potential trilogy, which are these hidden characters they’ve been revealing. Even if Squiggly and Big Band didn’t make it into the first game, they probably would’ve been added to a sequel (should one eventually get made).

    • Brandon Dutko

      Big Band was planned as DLC from the start. They showed him off before the game.

      Initially, Squigly, Big Band, Marie and Umbrella were all intended as DLC for this, if I am not mistaken.

      And they always intended to have males in the series, but they took characters out for lulz and money.

      • Asura

        You’re mistaken. Squiggly and Umbrella were the only ones speculated to be DLC as their playstyle info was revealed on the NeoGeo April Fool’s joke.

        Squigs actually was in development after the game. They haven’t even solidified how Big Band will play yet in concept, let alone on paper.

  • Mavalex

    Andy looks incredibly silly.

    ….put him in the game

  • Göran Isacson

    Robocop meats improvisational jazz. Yes, yes I could really get behind that kinda thinking. As for the new characters I think I’m the biggest fan of Brain drain. Andy is silly and fun, yes, but I think a bit too… simplistic? Like, I’d like to know if there’s something more to him than being an anvil with boxing gloves because that just strikes me as… limited.

    • Locklear93

      Not just limited, but way, way less fleshed out than the rest of the cast. Don’t get me wrong, Skullgirls’ cast is not super serious. But an anvil with limbs seems more like something Peacock would keep as a pet or throw at an enemy than a character in its own right.

      • Göran Isacson

        Yeah, pretty much. A Striker, a sidekick, a gag-character perhaps, but not really the kind of character you’d throw out when space is preciously limited.

        Still, I am probably not the only one who feels that way so the odds he makes it in are probably pretty darn low.

      • Zarx

        Andy does come out when you do Peacock’s level 3 super.

        • Locklear93

          Haha, I wasn’t actually aware of that! I’ve played the game, but Peacock pisses me off so much every time I fight her that I remember nothing but seething rage. <_<

          • Zarx

            I found it best to counter with your own projectile till you get in a better range when fighting against Peacock, reflecting is also great if you use Cerebella.

          • Locklear93

            I mostly play Ms. Fortune. Peacock makes her life hell. No other character gave me much grief, but I nearly quit the first time I played due to Peacock.

          • Zarx

            Her head moves work well for that match up, at least in my opinion, just gotta be less predictable with the rolls and using the command grab with it gives you time to run up for a hit confirm.

  • shion16

    So now the game should be called ” Skull……people”?

    • Miss_Madness

      Not really.Unless the skull heart started granted guy’s wishes.

      • Kaihedgie

        Thus destroying the point of the title

        • TrevHead

          Lol Skull Man, maybe they should make him a mid boss character and make it so he doesn’t use the heart but gives it to the doctor.

          Or it changes him into a girl with a double pipe for tits. :D

          • Miss_Madness

            I just had to find this pic.

            Anyway, that sounds awesome or he could be helping Peacock get to the skull girl. OR try to figure out it’s origin and run into awful because of Double.

            Or just changes him into a girl or a transvestite? As long as it has boob it should still count.

    • No i’ve figured it out, he’s really a trap! D:

    • Cellsai

      Just like King of Fighters and Smash Bros. should change their names, right?

      The game’s plot revolves around defeating a girl who possesses the Skull Heart, known as the Skullgirl.

  • magicalfollower

    Not trying to be sexist but having male in Skullgirls is like having a male characters in Arcana Heart.

    But it’s nice to break the taboo sometimes.

    • Ixbran

      Why does it bother you that they want to put in male characters? If you dont like him, dont play as him, simple as that


      • Kaihedgie

        It’s like putting Potemkin in Queen’s Blade.

        Yeah, we don’t have to play as him or even buy him, but it bothers people that the developers are using fundraisers on developing playable characters opposite of the eponymous gender, let alone characters that can’t possibly have any real major impact on the story considering what the rules and the intro state.

        If you wanted male characters without anyone whining, then you should have put them in there in the first place, not wait several months for it.

        • TrevHead

          While I too would prefer an all girl game for the same reason but I can’t blame the devs considering how negative ppl are over the sexism thing, especially from PC gamers judging by the comments on RPS.

          It’s getting annoying this sex backlash, it’s like everyone has suddenly swung from sex mad to super prudes.

    • Imagine how awesome it’d be to put a male character in Arcana Heart? The jokes they could tell in story mode, the uniqueness of how it’d feel to play him surrounded by the rest of the cast, character specific call-outs and such. It’d be flavor.

      I never really stuck with Skullgirls, too stuck on BlazBlue, too noobish to get very technical with a six button layout, but I’d love to play Big Band, I can imagine how contrasting his play-style would be to the rest of the SG cast.

      But I also understand that change isn’t always welcomed and remaining consistent can be important to folks (such as all-girl, etc).

      Still, damn I’d love to play a male character in AH.

    • Brandon Dutko

      Except that Big Band was planned from the beginning, he just didn’t make the cut. They’re not going to just go “OH LOL, GUESS WE’LL ABANDON ALL THESE MALES WE PLANNED BECAUSE THERE ARE NONE IN THE FIRST GAME”.

      Also, Street Fighter, as mentioned in this topic, only had men in the original.

      The only real problem is that they called it Skullgirls when they had planned guys.

    • Asura

      It’s called Skullgirls because only girls can use the Skullheart. How that makes males irrelevant is beyond comprehension, because it lacks all sense and/or logic.

      Male characters were created for the universe from the very start.

      • d3v

        If we go by the “title defines who’s playable” thing, then Guilty Gear shouldn’t have non gear characters (anyone who isn’t Sol and Dizzy).

        • Asura

          SmashBROS. SAMURAI Showdown. KING of Fighters. If I knew more fighting game titles this list could get really long.

          • d3v

            By that rule, KoF should only have one character: King.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    I’m guessing he was Blown by epic sax guy for 10 hours

  • It’s cool to see male characters too in the world of skullgirls, but I have to admit there was an added novelty for this game when it was basically the only good non-japanese all-girls fighting game.

    • Miss_Madness

      It’s still all about the ladies at the end of the day. So there is still that.

  • d3v

    The team has also stated that BigBand is somewhat based on Q from SFIII 3rd Strike.

    • zero254

      Does this mean a command throw means death?

      • d3v

        Who knows, this is Mike “Real Soviet Damage” Z after all.

        • zero254

          It’s gonna be cerebella hatemail all over again.

          Can’t wait!

  • Still against putting a male character in this game. I bought Skullgirl under the intention that it was the “american Arcana Hearts” (which it was). You don’t put a male character into a game that has AN ENTIRELY FEMALE CAST. It’s like putting guns in a medieval RPG; you just don’t do it. I’d rather Big Band be put up as a “possible” character where we VOTE him in, not “raise $375,000 to get him and AFTER we’ll MAYBE release more females. Females first, possible male characters after.

    • Cellsai

      I really hated how they put women in Street Fighter 2. It was established as an all male fighter in SF1. Totally ruined the game after that.

      • Kaihedgie

        That was a much different time back then.

    • LittleMofreaky

      Don’t you think that’s a weird preference to have?…

      sex really shouldn’t be an issue in a fighting game

    • Ni

      The game was never meant to be a all female fighter.
      The Lab Zero staff already has alot of characters to add to the host and most of them are females with a few males. Arcana Heart is one my favourite fighters (Zenia <3) and if it had male characters probaly would be more fun to play. I still need to understand why having male characters in a fighting game with a high amount of females characters is such a bad thing (or why having male characters is bad in anime/manga media nowadays)…
      And Sorry for my english

    • Brandon Dutko

      If you don’t have to play them, how is this a bad thing?

      Because of the chance of encountering the SINGLE male character online?

      • Kaihedgie

        You may not play as them, but you definitely will fight against them online.

        And he won’t be the only male put into this game. Far from it

        • Brandon Dutko

          In this first one? Most likely he definitely will be the only one. They’re only adding 3 DLC and one is a girl and 90% of the choices for the 3rd are girls. Unless Stanley or something wins the voting process and they actually get $600,000. I can almost guarantee people are going to vote for girls first.

          If they make a sequel, no. He won’t be the only male, but I can almost guarantee he will be the only one in this unless they do another DLC kickstarter thing.

          As for playing against them, I know that, but I honestly doubt most people will drop whatever their current main is and play him a bunch online.

          • Kaihedgie

            There are many more DLC males other than this guy planned. Considering how much money was dropped for just one character alone within less than the span of a day, it’s pretty clear we’re going to be going through almost everyone

          • Asura

            You realize the first day is the most active in donations? I don’t see this breaching 400k honestly.

    • zero254

      Not sexist

    • biskmater

      They did, they put in an all-female cast, THEN they put in this DLC female, and NOW we get a guy, and then some more girls, maybe.

    • d3v

      I never got the whole “American Arcana Heart” thing considering that A) male characters were confirmed even when the game was in development and b) the game is more or less a love letter to MvC2 and was heavily promoted as such among fighting game circles.

  • RavenholtEX

    Adds one or two male characters to a previously all-female character roster


  • alixraen

    Not one single Inspector Gadget reference yet?

  • JustThisOne

    I seriously hope Big Band ends up being this 50’s noir kinda guy. *___* It would suit his jazzy iron lung.

  • MediaMindControl

    Brain drain because psycho crusher.

  • Jake Deerberg

    Dude I’d like to see Brain Drain playable. IF there was a skull girls sequel he looks like he could make a sweet final boss.

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